Summer Scholarships

The Faculty of Agriculture and Environment invites students from outside the Faculty to apply for their Summer Research Scholarships in the departments on Plant and Food Sciences and Environmental Sciences.

These scholarships are a great way to gain research experience and an insight into research process while working alongside leading scientific researchers from the faculty of Agriculture and Environment.

The Faculty will offer up to 10 scholarships, with each scholarship worth $2832 (tax exempt). Additional funds up to $1500 may be offered for students residing outside the Greater Sydney area

Scholarships will be awarded primarily on academic performance.


The Agriculture and Environment Summer Research Scholarships are open to:

  1. University of Sydney students not enrolled in our Faculty degrees who have completed 2nd year in a Science or Engineering based undergraduate degree.
  2. Students from other universities in Australia and New Zealand who have completed at least two years of a full time program and who are interested in honours or higher degree research.

Students enrolled in FAE degrees:
Current students in degrees in the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment looking for similar summer research experience are encouraged to discuss this with Faculty staff members

Project dates

Projects run for four – six weeks, generally commencing in late November and concluding in late February.

Students must be available for the full duration of the project although specific dates can be arranged with their supervisor. (Please note the University will close on the 19th of December and reopen on 2nd of January 2014.)

How to apply

  • Complete the application form.
  • Include a personal statement, no longer than two A4 pages.
  • Include a copy of your transcript (if not a University of Sydney student).
  • Submit by 4pm on Friday 30 August 2013.

Important dates

Applications open: 29 July 2013
Applications close: 4pm, Friday 30 August 2013
Offers made: 30 September 2013
Deadline to accept offer: 14 October 2013



  1. Biofumigant cropping to control Salmonella contamination of vegetables: Extraction and analysis of phenolics in soil
    Certain plant species produce chemicals that have antimicrobial activity or that convert to compounds with antimicrobial effects during plant decomposition. The design of cover cropping or crop rotations to suppress soil-borne pathogens, known as ‘biofumigation’, is an environmentally-conscious strategy for pest and disease management that is receiving renewed attention as we seek to minimise reliance on chemical controls (pesticides, biocides, fungicides) and improve the sustainability of agricultural production. Be part of this collaborative project with the University of California, Davis to develop biofumigation systems that can effectively reduce pathogen populations in Salmonella-contaminated soil and ensure food safety in fresh vegetables.
    For more information email Dr Kim Thien
  2. You've got mail
    This project considers 'social capital' among Australian scientists with an interest in agriculture. The project question is 'Which are stronger - 'R4D networks' (which are largely driven by a desire to aid developing countries) or networks around Rural R&D Corporations (which are largely driven by trade)? You will select one or more indicator(s) of network intensity, design and run a small survey using your indicator(s), analyse and intepret your data and describe the implications of your findings for Australian agriculture
    For more information email
  3. Did the Wollemi pine nearly die out from carbon starvation during the glacial maxima?
    This project will assess the growth and carbon balance of Wollemi pine trees to atmospheric CO2 concentrations representative of different periods of geological time, using the new controlled-environment facilities at the Centre for Carbon, Water and Food on the Camden campus.
    For more information email
  4. Does nocturnal stomatal conductance result in a significant reduction in water-use efficiency in crop species?
    Stomatal usually do not close completely in the dark, so that water loss can continue even when there is net loss of carbon. This would result in significant reductions in crop water-use efficiency of crop plants, so that if genotypic variation in nocturnal gs where available, plant breeders may be able to improve overall water-use efficiency by breeding for low nocturnal stomatal conductance. This project will assess the level of variation in nocturnal stomatal conductance among wheat cultivars in the new controlled-environment facilities at the Centre for Carbon, Water and Food on the Camden campus.
    For more information email
  5. The impact of saprophytic fungi on survival of cyanobacteria (blue green algae)
    For more information email
  6. Evaluating the efficacy of proximal soil sensing for delineating contaminated soil areas
    This project will investigate technologies such as electromagnetic induction, gamma radiometry, and near-infra-red spectroscopy to elucidate areas of organic and inorganic soil contamination in the field. This will involve laboratory, field and computer work as well as exploration of the relevant literature.
    For more information email